BJP names Kadadi, Gasti as Rajya Sabha candidates from Karnataka

BENGALURU: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sidestepped recommendations of its Karnataka unit and nominated two relatively unknown persons as candidates for Rajya Sabha seats from the state.

The party has named 55-year old Ashok Gasti and 54-year old Eranna Kadadi as candidates, it said on Monday.

While a section of the BJP hails the decision as recognition grass-root level workers but many others now fear that simmering dissent within the state government could boil over and cause more trouble for chief minister BS Yediyurappa.

In a core committee meeting on Saturday, the state BJP unit had decided to recommend Prakash Shetty, Prabhakar Kore and Ramesh Katti as candidates for the seats, according to two persons directly aware of the developments.

By not accepting recommendations mooted by its state unit, the BJP has fueled speculation about the rift between the central leadership and Yediyurappa.

The nominations could also upset any possibility of placating dissident voices within the party, especially the powerful Jarkiholis and Kattis of Belagavi.

The two families had backed Ramesh Katti as Rajya Sabha candidate to counter that of Kore, who was being pushed by deputy chief minister Laxman Savdi, people aware of the developments said.

Umesh Katti, a longtime aide of Yediyurappa, had also started to rebel against the latter after being denied a place in the cabinet.

Yediyurappa had recently given charge of Belagavi to Ramesh Jarkiholi to calm tempers but it remains to be seen how it pans out in the coming days. Meanwhile, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) have reiterated that Yediyurappa’s government, that came to power by engineering defections, is likely to meet a similar same fate.

Yediyurappa had tried to manage expectations of the party’s old guard and new entrants who helped him to power.

The Congress has fielded Mallikarjuna Kharge and JD(S) has fielded H.D.Deve Gowda as its choice for one seat each.

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